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Alcohol Sensitivity Runs in the Family

Genetics influence how your body responds to drinking, study says

MONDAY, Feb. 16, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A person's sensitivity to alcohol and the resulting behavior -- sleepy, social, sad or happy -- may be linked to genetic influences on neurotransmitter activity.

That's according to symposium proceedings published in the February issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

"Activities of neurons, which are specialized cells of the nervous system, influence the release of neurochemicals that cause increases or decreases in brain activity," symposium organizer Kim Fromme, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says in a prepared statement.

"Virtually everything we think, feel, sense and do are determined by activity of these neurochemicals and their related neuronal activity in the brain. Approximately 100 different neurochemicals have been identified, and many of them have been found to be affected by alcohol," Fromme says.

Four presentations about alcohol's impact on these neurochemicals were given recently during the symposium at the Research Society on Alcoholism meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about the genetics of alcoholism.

SOURCE: University of Texas at Austin, news release, Feb. 15, 2004
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